It will support his dissertation research in the Yucatan, Mexico.
Dissertation Title: "Trailblazing development: the effects of Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) on forest management and degradation patterns in the Calakmul—Sian Ka’an Biological Corridor, Mexico"
This research examines the impact of the Mexican government's Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) program on forest management systems and land use change dynamics in the Calakmul-Sian Ka’an Biological Corridor. From the state's perspective, Sembrando Vida is a trailblazing economic development approach that aims to simultaneously halt deforestation and alleviate poverty in rural communities of the Yucatan through the implementation of agroforestry systems. In practice, this policy is having mixed results. On one hand, it promotes the generation of heterogeneous landscapes by encouraging the participation of commonly excluded groups in land-use management processes, who foster new forms of management driven by their own perspectives on the forest and their everyday practices. On the other hand, in some regions, it has promoted intentional forest degradation to gain access to the funds provided by the program. Drawing on land-use regime shift theory and a mixed method approach, the project investigates how Sembrando Vida promotes new forms of agroforestry landscapes or drives forest degradation, depending on the interaction networks and coalitions between state and non-state actors. The research will evaluate the program's impacts on forests and people, particularly on the processes of landscape transformation and changes in future visions around forest management in collaboration with agrarian communities.